Yasmin general information
What is Yasmin used for?
If you want to prevent pregnancy, there are many types of contraception you can use for birth control to stop you becoming pregnant. Yasmin tablets are an oral contraceptive pill, also known as a birth control pill or just as “the pill”. They are a combination pill, which is a form of hormonal birth control that you can take daily throughout your menstrual cycle, without interfering with your sexual activity. Yasmin contraceptive pills are a highly effective method of contraception if you follow the instructions. If you take them correctly and continuously, the success rate is around 99%. However, you will increase your chances of getting pregnant if you miss a tablet.
How does Yasmin affect your menstrual cycle?
Each pack of Yasmin contains enough pills for one month’s supply. This is based on the average menstrual cycle being four weeks or 28 days. Each pack includes 21 hormone-containing pills and seven non-hormone tablets (placebo). When you have taken all your pills, your monthly cycle will end with a withdrawal bleed, as your body adjusts to falling hormone levels.
By taking Yasmin contraceptive pills regularly, you may find that your menstrual periods become lighter and less painful. This will be a welcome relief if you experience painful, heavy periods, a condition called menorrhagia. Before taking the pill, your periods may have been irregular, a condition known as primary dysmenorrhoea. Yasmin tablets may be used to help make your periods more regular.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the term given to feelings of low mood and irritability that are associated with hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle and an imbalance in your natural hormone levels. Symptoms include bloating, swelling or weight gain, which are generally related to fluid retention and are a regular monthly occurrence for many women. These symptoms are usually tolerable and are relieved once menstruation begins. While taking Yasmin contraceptive pills you may see an improvement in PMS. Other premenstrual symptoms that may improve include acne and greasiness of the skin and hair, caused by hormonal stimulation of sebum production in hair follicles.
How does Yasmin work?
Yasmin contraceptive pills contain a combination of two hormones in the same pill. These are ethinyloestradiol, a synthetic oestrogen, and drospirenone, a synthetic progestogen that has similar action in the menstrual cycle as natural progesterone. Both hormones work together to protect against pregnancy by disrupting the menstrual cycle.
Each month, a woman’s body prepares for a possible pregnancy, and this depends on a complex interaction between the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries. Oestrogen stimulates egg maturation within the egg follicle, and ovulation, which is when a mature egg is released ready to be fertilised by a male sperm. Progesterone prepares the endometrium (lining of the uterus) for implantation of an embryo. Oestrogen levels peak halfway through the cycle. Levels of progesterone begin to rise at mid-cycle once the egg has been fertilised, and oestrogen levels fall. Oestrogen and progesterone production is regulated by follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH). These hormones are released by the pituitary gland and controlled by gonadotrophin-releasing hormones produced by the hypothalamus in the brain.
Ethinylestradiol in Yasmin blocks the release of FSH by the pituitary gland, and this prevents development of the egg follicle. Drospirenone in Yasmin tablets works by blocking the increase in LH levels needed for ovulation to occur. Yasmin tablets maintain constant hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle. This prevents egg maturation and suppresses ovulation, as well as preventing endometrial development. Even if an egg were to be fertilised, it would not be able to implant in the endometrium and grow into a foetus.
The cervical membrane of the cervix produces mucus, which is usually thick in consistency but changes at ovulation to become thinner. Another contraceptive action of Yasmin tablets is that this mucus remains thick, forming a physical barrier to sperm.
What does Yasmin contain?
Yasmin contraceptive pills contain a combination two active ingredients. The hormones, ethinyloestradiol (30mcg), a synthetic oestrogen, and drospirenone (3mg), a synthetic progestogen, which work together to protect against pregnancy. There are 21 yellow hormone-containing pills per pack which also contain lactose, maize starch, pregelatinised maize starch, povidone, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, macrogol 6000, purified talc, titanium dioxide, iron oxide yellow. There are seven white placebo (non-hormonal) pills per pack, which contain lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, purified talc, and titanium dioxide.
What are the side effects of Yasmin?
Most medications have some side effects, but they are not experienced by everyone. Some side effects are commonly experienced when taking Yasmin, but others are not so common, and you should discuss any problems or concerns with your primary care physician.
Common side effects when taking Yasmin include breast tenderness, breast pain, nausea, depression, migraine, uterine bleeding, decreased libido.
When should Yasmin not be used?
Have a talk with your primary healthcare physician before taking Yasmin so that you have a full understanding of what this medicine is for and how to use it. There are some reasons for not taking a medication; these are called contraindications, and for Yasmin you should consider the following before taking Yasmin:
- Have you ever had an unusual reaction or an allergy when taking Yasmin?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Do you have any problems with your kidneys or your liver?
- Do you have pancreatitis associated with severe hypertriglyceridemia (high blood levels of a certain type of fats called triglycerides)?
- Do you have a past or family history of carcinoma of the breast, endometrial carcinoma or liver adenomas or carcinomas?
- Do you have high blood pressure, lipid disorders or migraine?
- Have you had jaundice at any time or gall bladder disease?
- Have you or any family members had deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in the legs), thromboembolic disorders (formation of blood clots), heart attack or stroke?
- Are you a heavy smoker, as this can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke?
- Do you have diabetes with changes to the blood vessels?
- Do you have any abnormal vaginal bleeding of unknown cause?
What medications interact with Yasmin?
Some medicines interact with Yasmin and may affect the way it works, or are affected by Yasmin or increase side effects; you should discuss possible interactions with your primary care physician.
Some medications interact with Yasmin contraceptive pills and prevent them working effectively, increasing your risk of becoming pregnant. If you are taking any of the following you may need to take other contraceptive precautions: anticonvulsants like phenytoin and carbamazepine, barbiturates, anti-infectives like rifampicin and rifabutin, nevirapine and ritonavir for HIV, the antifungal griseofulvin, antibiotics like penicillin and erythromycin, preparations containing St John's Wort.
If you are taking a combination of anti-viral medications for Hepatitis C, including ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir and dasabuvir, this may worsen liver conditions.
If other medications may interact with Yasmin, your doctor will discuss these with you.
How should Yasmin be taken and for how long?
You should take your Yasmin contraceptive pills swallowed whole with a glass of water with or without food, and it is important that you take your pill at the same time each day.
Each pack of Yasmin contraceptive pills contains 28 pills for a complete monthly cycle and should be taken continually to ensure effective contraception. The first 21 yellow pills contain the contraceptive hormones, and the last seven white pills are a placebo, which do not contain any hormones. While you are taking these placebo pills you will have a menstrual bleed. When you have finished one pack, start a new one the next day. If you have gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or diarrhoea within three to four hours of taking your hormonal pill, this is the same as missing a pill and you should take other contraceptive precautions for the next seven days.
Missed dose of Yasmin
It is important that you take your Yasmin contraceptive pills for seven uninterrupted days to ensure you do not become pregnant. However, if you miss a dose of the pink hormonal Yasmin contraceptive pills follow these guidelines to help you decide what to do:
- If you are less than 12 hours late in taking your pill, take it as soon as you remember and take the next one at your usual time. You are still protected against pregnancy.
- If you are more than 12 hours late in taking your pill, this is counted as a missed pill and you should follow these detailed instructions:
Day 1-7 (yellow hormonal pills)
Take the missed pill as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills at the same time, and then take your next pill at the usual time. Contraceptive protection may be reduced, and you are at risk of becoming pregnant unless you use other contraceptive precautions for the next seven days.
Day 8-14 (yellow hormonal pills)
Take the missed pill as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills at the same time, and then take your next pill at the usual time. You are still protected against pregnancy, provided you have not missed more than one pill.
Day 15-24 (yellow hormonal pills)
Take the missed pill as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills at the same time, and then take your next pill at the usual time. When all the active yellow pills are used up, discard the last seven inactive white pills and start a new pack right away. You may not have a withdrawal bleed until the end of the next pack of pills the following month.
Day 24-28 (white non-hormonal pills)
Take the next pill as usual and discard the missed pill. You are not at risk of becoming pregnant.
Vomiting and diarrhoea
If you have gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or severe diarrhoea within three to four hours of taking your hormonal pill, this is the same as missing a pill and you should follow the guidelines above.
Note: If you are in doubt always consult your health professional.
Missed dose of Yasmin
If you miss a dose of Yasmin contraceptive pills take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.
How should Yasmin be stored?
You should store your Yasmin contraceptive pills in their calendar pack until below 25°C in a cool dry place.